Cassel to Follow in Brady's Footsteps

Chris ScheiCorrespondent IDecember 29, 2008

Remember when Tom Brady was an unknown leading the Patriots to a Super Bowl win? I do too. Brady came off the bench for an injured Drew "the statue" Bledsoe, and guided the Patriots to an 11-5 record.

Brady didn't do anything special. He had more mobility than Bledsoe, which enabled him to keep plays alive and just take what the defense gave him. The Patriots rode stellar defensive and special teams play along with an offense that didn't turn the ball over and made clutch plays to three Super Bowl victories.

For years, it has been my opinion that Tom Brady was successful because of one thing—the system he plays in.

Even last year when he had video-game like numbers, I still thought that a lot of NFL QB's would've had a tremendous season with the weapons he had.

Brady hurt his knee in the first game of the year, and I immediately called my older brother. He said the AFC East was now wide open, and I agreed with him. He said the Patriots, without Brady, wouldn't get to .500. I had to stop him right there.

I told him the Pats would win a few games exactly how they won a few Super Bowls. Defense and special teams—offense doesn't turn the ball over. As the season wore on, Matt Cassel would start putting up gaudy numbers as the coaching staff gained confidence in him, and the Pats would win at least 10 games.

Not in a million years, he said. I've been wrong before, but not on that one.

So, now, there is a report that Tom Brady's rehab is not going well, and 2009 is in doubt.

Mark my words, Tom Brady will be traded in the off-season, and Matt Cassel will get a long extension.

We all know there will be a team willing to give up a lot to get him, and Matt Cassel will become the new Tom Brady. You can call me crazy, that's fine. You can tell me I'm wrong. I have been before, and I will be again.

One thing that is strange, however, is that when Tom Brady took over for Bledsoe, he led the team to 11-5. When Matt Cassel took over for Tom Brady, he led the team to—you guessed it, 11-5.

I wonder what would've happened if the Patriots made the playoffs.